Whilst the plays were written during the Medieval period, it is one of their great strengths that they are indeed timeless. Paul Burbidge from Riding Lights explains the decision to 'tell the story from 1951'.

"The 2012 production sits as the jewel in the crown of the York 800 celebrations. The York Mystery Plays are arguably the most important artistic event to come from our city in that period - of  'worldwide and worldclass' significance.

Within 800 years, there are three crucial dates: the time when the Mystery Plays began (late 1300s), the time when they were suppressed (1560s) and the moment when the York Mystery Plays tradition was restarted for the modern era in 1951 at the Festival of Britain. That 20th Century revival is a hugely significant moment within the past 800 years of York's history. It was a period of post-second world war hope and new life after terrifying global destruction which resonates hugely with the biblical story.

The biblical story and the Mystery Play texts are both ancient and modern - they live in every generation because they speak about events inside and outside time within the cosmos, about issues which are always contemporary. To view them in any sense as a 'museum piece' carefully preserved from the 14th/15th Centuries is to obscure their real purpose."

Damian Cruden, Artistic Director at York Theatre Royal, also explains why the story will be 'told from 1951' in this interview with the York Press.

Got your own ideas? Then why not join us on Facebook and Twitter and let us know what you think! 


 With thanks to Community Photographer, John Saunders, who takes a sneaky photo of Judas' Costume Design

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Join us at the Visit York Tourism Awards!

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